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Asbestos investigation underway by the state for complexes told to evacuate by landlord for asbestos

 The Thrive at the Incline, formally known as the Shannon Glen Apartments, provided a health notice to its residents in Colorado Springs to evacuate.  The front of the notice is pictured on the left. Photos taken by KKTV>.
The Thrive at the Incline, formally known as the Shannon Glen Apartments, provided a health notice to its residents in Colorado Springs to evacuate. The front of the notice is pictured on the left. Photos taken by KKTV>. (KKTV)
Published: Dec. 5, 2019 at 7:56 PM MST
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Residents at two Colorado Springs apartment complexes last week were being told to evacuate their homes immediately due to asbestos. Now, the state is investigating to see if any laws were broken during renovation work.

"It is rough because it is the middle of the month, it's going to be Christmas -- now my kids have lost their Christmas toys because we have to find a new place," resident Alena Salazar told 11 News.

Multiple families tell 11 News they received a notice on Dec. 4 at a complex called The Thrive at the Incline, formally known as the Shannon Glen Apartments. The complex is near Platte and Bijou on the east side of the city. A few weeks earlier, residents at the Thrive at Park's Edge received a similar notice. Some residents at Park's Edge even came home to boards across their front doors.

Nearly 200 units received the notice at the Thrive at the Incline. One resident tells 11 News they were informed if they didn't leave the building, they would be evicted. The form they received states the landlord determined the immediate evacuation was necessary based on information provided from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

According to the EPA, the use of asbestos for buildings was banned in 1989 but is still found in older buildings.

One of the most common uses for asbestos is insulation, and when it is disturbed it becomes airborne and increases the risk for many other health issues.

Residences of the apartment complex will be notified when they can return, but the timeline is unclear. Residents were also instructed to only take essential belongings as other items could be contaminated.

Residents were offered to be put in a hotel while they make other arrangements. 11 News spoke to the landlord and management, but no one wanted to comment.

Residents are being told to call 719-464-9182 with any questions.

On Dec. 10, 11 News learned the state had opened an investigation. Andrew Bare with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment sent 11 News the following statement:

"The Colorado Air Pollution Control Division can confirm that the following seven apartment complexes in Colorado Springs are properties of interest in our ongoing asbestos investigation: - North 49 Apartments - Thrive at Park’s Edge Apartments - Thrive at Rockledge Apartments - Thrive at Incline Apartments - Thrive at Slopeside Apartments - Thrive at the Point Apartments - Thrive at Elevation Apartments Throughout this situation, personnel from the Air Pollution Control Division have provided vigorous and pro-active oversight of the affected residences to protect the health and safety of those living in the area. The department investigated allegations of improper renovation work at the complexes the same week it received a complaint. And the department ordered work to stop at all relevant facilities immediately after investigating. The department is currently investigating whether residents at these facilities were exposed to asbestos and whether any state laws were broken during the renovation work. And if laws were broken, we will pursue appropriate action. We ordered asbestos testing at the complexes, and we are closely monitoring the work being conducted by private asbestos consultants and/or contractors. The department urges any residents of these complexes with questions or concerns about potential medical effects of asbestos exposure to speak with their medical provider. Residents should follow whatever recommendations or instructions their medical providers offer. In addition, the department would like to hear from any residents who believe they might have information that could be helpful to our investigation. Residents can contact us at 303-692-3100."

As more information becomes available this article will be updated.

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